Saturday, October 13, 2012

Update to Viking Star's energy use per year

A year and three quarters ago I was bored.  So bored that I sat down to look at our energy usage vs. the 'average' American:

Guess what.  I am a bit bored again - after a summer of running around we have just not gotten into the swing of 'Not Doing Things' lifestyle.  So today, among others, I sat down to look again at our 'household' energy use for the past 12 months.  In total we consumed  (well, purchased):
  • 775 gallons of Diesel      (107.3 MBTUs)
  •   10 gallons of Gasoline     (1.2 MBTUs)
  •   15 gallons of Propane       (1.4 MBTUs) 
  •   88 KWH of Electricity      (0.3 MBTUs)

As before this is only direct energy consumption.  Fuel used for Mass Transit, as well as energy used to grow and ship that potato is not reflected.   We did use around an extra 6 MBTUs of gasoline in the rental cars.  So, that puts us at 116 Million BTUs. for the past 12 months.

This is a noticeable increase over the 86 MBTUs used in 2010, but we should note this time we are underway much more.  Plus we spend a much larger time away from the docks than before - in 2012 we used 200+ gallons more of diesel, and less than 1/8th the electricity.  (More moving, less dock sitting..)

So, how does this new '116 MBTUs' compare to the national average?  Still well under the household average of 140 MBTUs in my prior post, and today I found this new cool chart.

Using the last line (Yearly KWh usage) and converting it into BTUs we get a US Consumption of 336 MBTUs per person.   Or 672M BTUs for 2 people.  So, this means we are using perhaps a 5th of  a typical US residen?  After all, we live in a very small 'house'.  If we add in say 50 gallons of gas for our auto trips and bus, that only adds another 6 MBTUs,

Could we do better?

Installing the Solar Panels will help some, though perhaps the larger benefit is not having to listen to the generator during the summer.

We already Go Slow with the last fuel fill showing us burning around 1.4GPH.  With 300 hours on the main over the last year, perhaps we could try to 'stay put' more in the future.  (Lets see, 300 hours in a car at say an average of 35 MPH throughout the year comes to 10,000 miles.  OK, so our 'car' is a bit larger, heck some might even call it a Boat!)

Last winter's records show a bit over 200 gallons of diesel went to heating Viking Star.  Given the very small space involved that is a lot and is reflected in both the All or None approach of the Dickinson stove, as well as the poor insulation of Viking Star herself   This coming winter we will try different approaches to heating (the Hurricane taking some of the load, as well as additional ways to utilize electricity when it is available).  Not too sure about the insulation, as to be honest - air exchanges in such a small space are important.  But who knows maybe next year.  And for this year we got a fresh roll of Blue Masking tape!

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